Methodological challenges surrounding QALY estimation for paediatric economic evaluation
AbstractCost-utility analysis remains the preferred form of economic evaluation for health technology assessment, pricing and reimbursement authorities in several countries. The results of cost-utility analyses are commonly expressed in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained where the QALY combines length of life and health-related quality of life in a single metric. This commentary provides an overview of key methodological challenges surrounding QALY estimation for paediatric economic evaluation. These challenges include issues surrounding the relevant attributes to incorporate into measurement instruments, appropriate respondents for the measurement and valuation tasks, perspectives adopted when completing valuation tasks, potential sources of bias in the description and valuation processes, and the paucity of psychometric evidence for existing measures. In addition, the commentary considers methodological challenges raised by research aimed at assessing whether a QALY gain by a child should be valued equally to a QALY gain by an adult.